Mardi Gras: A Party Guide to Partying with Pride
Categories // Life+Style
Mardi Gras is the time for pride and so if you’re a party rocker heading to Sydney for Mardi Gras 2012, ACSA says take pride: in yourself, each other and your community.
If you’re out and about:
Sadly, the incidence of street-based homophobic violence increases around Mardi Gras. So take care of yourself and each other by travelling between venues with friends or by travelling in taxis. If you do experience or witness violence, report it to the police straight away or to ACON’s NSW antiviolence project. Reporting violence is important as having a public record of the type and level of violence experienced by our community helps lobbying efforts for increased security. Visit http://www.acon.org.au/anti-violence/report-to-AVP for more information.
If you’re letting your hair down with some Mardi Gras sex:
Remember to pull up those condoms and pull out that water-based lube. You can protect yourself from most sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV easily by using condoms and plenty of lubricant during sex, so pack your own and pick up some more there!
If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, PEP is a 4 week treatment that can reduce the chance of HIV infection after very recent exposure (72 hours), for more information and to find out where you can get PEP call the PEP info line on 1800 022 226 (SA) or 1800 737 669 (NSW). If you think you have been exposed to any STI, it's important for your own and your community’s health to get tested at a GP or sexual health clinic as soon as possible.
If you’re HIV positive, be aware of NSW’s laws regarding disclosure of status with sexual partners. NSW public health law requires people living with HIV to inform their sexual partners of their HIV status, and the associated risks of transmission, before sex and for their sexual partner(s) voluntarily to accept any risk of transmission (it is not a sufficient defence to have used condoms).
If you’re partying on drugs:
Get informed: for example knowing to keep your fluids up if you’re using ecstasy can be significant to your health. Consider letting those with you know what you’re taking and if you do get into trouble and need medical help it’s important to call an ambulance and tell paramedics what you’re using. If injecting it’s essential to use only your own clean fits every time (all equipment not just needles). You can get clean needles before you leave from Clean Needle Programs in SA (you can pack them in your check-in luggage) or from needle syringe programs in NSW. To find the nearest program site, phone the Alcohol & Drug Information Service on 1800 422 599 and visit http://nspandlegal.aivl.org.au/ for a guide to your legal rights in regard to drug use.
For further information, talk to a GP at the O’Brien St Clinic (located at 17 O'Brien Street in Adelaide: ph 8231 4026) or at Clinic 275 (level 1 at 275 North Terrace: ph 82225075) or call SHine SA’s sexual health line on 1300 883 793.